Yuri: A poetic phantasmal platformer game on Apple TV
Wake up in Yuri’s dreamworld and journey an artfully aesthetic platformer through the flora and fauna of a child’s imagination.
The stuff of dreams
Yuri awakens in a dark primeval forest, still in his bed. Is this a dream? The wheeled bed becomes his vehicle as he ventures forth through the night. This must be a dream. He rolls through the undergrowth by the light of a crescent moon to the sounds of nocturnal wildlife and the soughing breeze. But the chimeric night is filled with mystery and danger little Yuri must overcome.
This is the atmosphere of Yuri, which sets a mysterious and dreamy ambience from the get go. Created by Fingerlab brothers Ange and Aurélien Potier it’s more than just a fun platformer. The artwork is hand-drawn in monochrome and blue depicting the fantastical flora and fauna of Yuri’s imagination. The soundscape too is delightfully impressive. Woodland and weather sound-effects along with a nicely composed soundtrack really set a special tone. The dreaming boy will face treacherous pitfalls and friendly or malicious animals through cliffs, rivers, caverns and canopies of adventure before awakening. And yes, you can die in your sleep. But Yuri lives again, after all, this is a game.
Yuri rolls in his sleep
The sound & vision delight of Yuri absolutely doubles in awesomeness playing big-screen with Apple TV. The controls are simple left-right pad clicks and the play/pause button to jump. However, the Siri remote poses an added challenge (if your’e Siri-clumsy like me) of avoiding hitting pause or menu buttons accidentally. Let’s hope Apple makes some design changes, but until then a gamepad is advantageous. The straightforward yet often challenging gameplay make Yuri a formidable platformer. Physics-mechanics have you balancing on giant swaying water-lilies and ferns or riding the backs of behemoth bullfrogs, dragonflies and spiders. Jump action (doing skateboard-like bed ollies) on toadstool trampolines and cobwebs, swinging vines, river-logs or an array of other natural features is also tricky. Along the way you’ll collect will-‘o-the-wisp balls of light which is the only goal/point factor. Besides waking up at home.
Yuri is one of the first Apple TV games of 2017 and has 10 extensive levels with new ones to come. Between platform levels an occasional weird interlude will surprise you. Yes, this is definitely a dream. In addition to the aesthetic and platform action, this game seems to tell a story without needing an obvious storyline. My interpretation that Yuri is a child dreaming (?) conjures an underlying philosophical poetry to the tale. It reflects the fantastical imagination, curiosity and fears of a child that we can all relate to. Ange Potier created Yuri long ago as a comic strip character and short-film productions often accompanied by his brother’s music. In Yuri they’ve put together a game that radiates personality and charm coupled with skilled gameplay and fun. To use another Prospero metaphor: Such stuff that dreams are made on.